Mary J. Blige’s Daily Affirmation and 12 More New Songs


Mary J. Blige is fighting and overcoming self-doubt once again. “I’m so tired of feeling empty,” she says in a bold tone on a slow-moving, vintage-style soul piece backed by a moody string arrangement. But there is a solution: to look in the mirror every morning with self-affirmation, saying, “Good morning, beautiful.” “I’m not talking about not wearing hair and makeup/I’m talking about when I wake up,” she adds. The video makes it clear that she wakes up in a toned and jeweled mansion, far from “all the times I hated myself.” JON PARELES

“Jupiter’s Dance” is a precision exercise. A welcome departure for Alynda Segarra, who is usually a hot folk-punk. Hooray for Riff RaffHere, dare trade for cosmic imagination. Segarra gasped in a whisper: “Seven turns around the sun/Our blessings are on the way, it’s just begun.” The video juxtaposes celestial images of NASA with footage of people dancing with Afro-Puerto Rican bomb and plena species. This is a galactic prayer, a belief in the promise of the future based on the vitality of the past. ISABELIA HERRERA

Released prominently on Thanksgiving, “Another Day in America” ​​borrows the “America” ​​tune from “West Side Story” and is expected to hit theaters next week. Steven Spielberg remake. Beating her syncopated guitar and boom-bap beat, Kali Uchis sings and raps in English, keeping her tone cheerful but ignoring her words: “Say ‘the land of the free’/But the land has always been stolen.” Ozuna from Puerto Rico raps in Spanish, “Quisiera tumbar las fronteras de México a Nigeria”: “I want to break the borders from Mexico to Nigeria.” This is a conversation starter. PARELES

Norwegian songwriter Aurora has announced that her next album, due to be released on January 21, will be titled “The Gods We Can Touch,” and in “Heathens,” she sings about Eve, Eden, and the fall from grace to a life on Mother Earth. Pealing harp is a widescreen production that sparkles with the choral-like harmonies of Aurora and a seismic beat that comes and goes. It is also a warning that heaven is lost. “Everything we touch is bad,” Aurora says. “That’s why we live like infidels.” PARELES

Lately “semi-separated” With Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, with whom he has a child, Grimes (Claire Boucher) makes ready accusations to the club on “Player of Games”, where he sometimes sings like “play your love games”. “Baby, will you still love me?” in a live song she wrote and produced with Illangelo. asks questions like and “How do I compare to the adventure outside?” while the arpeggios repeat and the quartet rumbles. “If I had loved him less, I would have kept him,” he said, mocking the gossip-industrial complex. PARELES

An insanely funny, sexually entertaining disco anthem Kim Petras, one might say, favors one type of fruit above all else: “Don’t compare strawberries, mangoes, limes/these.” JON CARAMANICA

Kerozen from Ivory Coast praises the patient, determined hard work in “Motivation,” but the song still provides instant gratification. The galloping six-beat flute conveys exuberant close-knit vocals augmented by pattering snare drums, synthesizer explosions and simulated horns – pure positive energy. PARELES

The latest discovery from the tireless chest diggers Analogue Africa “Essiebon Special 1973-1984: Ghana Power House” from the archives of Essiebons and Dix tags. Ghanaian highlife enriched with funk, Afrobeat, synthesizers and psychedelia, such as “Ahwene Pa Nkasa” that emerged from a funk backbeat, into a chatty competitive stereo dialogue between two synthesizer keyboards, which eventually reached its calling. -and-response vocals fade before the chorus is complete. PARELES

Brilliant rhyme work from Cordae, which pays homage to 1990s complexity – “Eight phone-free months, dog/we aim for the shine” – and Lil Wayne, who here remembers turned complexity at the peak of the late 2000s mixtape to extraterrestrial. karamanika

A strategically placed beat change is more than just a secret weapon: It can turn a standard rap piece into a delicious diversion. Elado Carrión’s “Socio” opens with a soulful piano introduction and snare-focused beat reminiscent of something Drake executive producer Noah “40” Shebib could pull out of his hard drive. But soon the thorns come. The silent echo of Russell Crowe’s famous line “Gladiator” “Didn’t you have fun?!” goes into production and a muscular, speaker-pounding beat dissolves. Guest rapper Luar la L throws punch lines like silver bullet bullets, each of his full-throated baritone landing with jagged precision. HERRERA

An old-fashioned electric country duet that refers to the high horsepower density of a brutal job, a fast car, and a rough love. karamanika

Village Vanguard is where the bassist is. Christian McBride He sang for the first time with Inside Straight, which became perhaps jazz’s most outstanding acoustic quintet more than a decade ago. McBride’s latest release with Inside Straight, “Live at the Village Vanguard,” was recorded there for another week, years later, in 2014. Written by vibraphonist Warren Wolf, “Gang Gang” is the longest and most intense track on the album. The band revolves around drummer Carl Allen’s heavy, spiraling feel, and Wolf takes a solo filled with bluish notes, drawing a cloud of energy with dotted beats. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa follows an etched, wordless line, while Sofia Rei and Aubrey Johnson surround her with tunes sung by their own songs, and ambient street sounds gargle below. Soon after, Serpa begins to recite the words from Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma’s book “A Stranger’s Posture” about his travels in the African continent: “I can recite distances/I can sing the wanderlust with your eyes rolled up,” she says. Next, Iduma’s voice, accompanied by pianist Matt Mitchell, comes in as he reads a passage on the power of language to create a space “between reality and dream.” “First Song” opens Serpa and Iduma impressive new joint album, “Intimate Strangers”, a collage of his swimming melodies and lyrics – many of which describe the experiences of laborers seeking their destiny on the road, sometimes traveling north to Europe, but often waiting for something to change around them. Russonello



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